poetics, time, body disruption and marginally queer solutions

Saturday, May 20, 2006

Moldova: Reverse Ban on Gay Rights Demonstration

(New York, May 20, 2006) The mayor of Chisinau, Moldova must affirm human rights by overturning his ban on a lesbian and gay-rights demonstration, Human Rights Watch said today. In a letter sent today, Human Rights Watch called on the mayor and on the Moldovan government to ensure that peaceful demonstrations proceed without interference, and that legislation outlawing discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity is passed as a matter of priority.

"Chisinau's mayor has surrendered to prejudice instead of defending basic freedoms," said Scott Long, director of the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Rights Program at Human Rights Watch. "Attempts to ban pride marches in Latvia, Poland and Russia have drawn world condemnation. Moldova should draw lessons from these experiences by opting to stand on the side of rights rather than repression."


Mauritius sees first gay rights march

ROSE HILL, Mauritius (Reuters) - Hundreds of gays and lesbians staged the first gay rights march on the largely conservative Indian Ocean island on Saturday, shocking afternoon shoppers in the bustling town of Rose Hill.

Mauritius, located off the southeast coast of Africa, has a population of 1.2 million made up of Hindus, Catholics and Muslims.
The gay community, which activists say makes up about 10 percent of the population, is mostly underground as many face persecution and discrimination.


Panel bars UN links to two more gay rights groups

UNITED NATIONS (Reuters) - A U.N. panel this week barred two more gay rights groups from having a formal voice at the United Nations after blocking two others earlier this year, diplomats said on Friday.

Votes to deny the groups "consultative status" at the world body took place in the U.N. Economic and Social Council's Committee on Nongovernmental Organisations, which wrapped up its latest eight-day session on Friday.

A total of 2,870 nongovernmental organisations have such status, enabling them to distribute documents and speak at meetings of some U.N. bodies and conferences.

The committee, which holds sessions twice a year, this week rejected applications from The Lesbian and Gay Federation in Germany and ILGA-Europe, a chapter of the International Gay and Lesbian Association.

During its first 2006 session, which took place last January, the committee rejected the Belgium-based International Gay and Lesbian Association and the Danish National Association for Gays and Lesbians.


Judge Strikes Down Okla. Gay Adoption Law

OKLAHOMA CITY — A federal judge struck down a 2-year-old law that prohibits Oklahoma from recognizing adoptions by same-sex couples from other states and countries.

U.S. District Judge Robin Cauthron ruled Friday the measure violated due process rights under the U.S. Constitution because it attempted to break up families without considering the parents' fitness or the children's best interests.

Gay-rights organization Lambda Legal had challenged the law on behalf of three same-sex couples.

One-year sentence for gay party organizer

A man surnamed Zou, was sentenced to one year in prison by the Chongwen District People¡¯s Court in Beijing, for organizing a gay party through the internet, the website of the China News Service reported on Friday.
Zou, an Internet fan, was inspired by the news about a "Gay Hotel" on a website in April, 2005. He set up his own website called "Beijing Sky" to advertise a "Hot Dream Party for Cool Beijing Boys" and attracted homosexuals to engage in prurient activities and provide illegal sex services at his house.


Transgender advocates rally over governor's veto

Transgender advocates and allies gathered Thursday at a rally in Burlington to express their dismay and disappointment at the governor's recent veto of a pivotal anti-discrimination bill.

Wednesday, Gov. Jim Douglas vetoed the Gender Identity and Expression Non-Discrimination Act. The bill was introduced to the Judiciary Committee in the spring of 2005. This year, the House passed the bill 88-47, and the Senate OK'd it with a voice vote.

In the message accompanying his veto, Douglas insisted that he is committed to fighting discrimination. He said, however, he had reservations about the language of the bill and said he felt that the bill had not been sufficiently considered by the Legislature.

"Discrimination in Vermont is unacceptable, and our state has a long, healthy and proud history of acceptance and tolerance," Douglas told the Legislature in the message accompanying his veto. "I am concerned that (the bill) did not receive the kind of careful scrutiny and study that would be expected prior to making major modifications to Vermont's anti-discrimination laws," Douglas said


Gay-friendly estate agency sacked pregnant lesbian
A lesbian lettings office manager was sacked from a gay-friendly estate agency because she was pregnant, an employment tribunal has ruled.

Friday, May 19, 2006

Homosexuals Deserve Equal Rights: Martin

Kathmandu, May 18: Chief of the UN human rights mission in Nepal, Ian Martin, has stressed the need of appropriate laws in Nepal to guarantee the rights of the lesbians, gays, bisexuals and transgender people.

He was addressing a program organised by Blue Diamond Society, a gay and gender minority rights organization based in Kathmandu, on the occasion of International Day against Homophobia in the capital on Wednesday.

Martin said, "Discrimination against lesbians, gay men, bisexuals and transgender people, or metis, takes many forms and often results in violence against them."


fraternity at ASU opens doors to transgender members

Sigma Phi Beta has redefined what it is to be a man.

The Arizona State University fraternity is the country's first to allow members who identify themselves as male regardless of their birth or legally recognized gender.

Even those who decide later to become female may remain members, said Sam Holdren, the fraternity's national president and chairman. He graduated from Arizona State University in 2004 and helped establish Sigma Phi Beta as ASU's first gay fraternity in July.


Vt. governor vetoes trans protections

Vermont Gov. James Douglas on Wednesday vetoed a bill that would have added "gender identity or expression" to the state's nondiscrimination law.

The anti-discrimination bill was first introduced four years ago by Rep. Bill Lippert, D-Hinesburg, and added gender-identity protections for employment, housing and public accommodations. Vermont's hate-crimes law already includes gender-identity language.

Vermont's House passed the bill March 1. The Senate passed it May 3; a final 88-47 vote of concurrence between both chambers took place two days later.


'Hall of Shame' Shows Reach of Homophobia

(New York, May 17, 2006) As people in more than 50 countries today mark the International Day against Homophobia, Human Rights Watch named to a "hall of shame" five public officials who have actively promoted prejudice against lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people in their countries. Human Rights Watch also pointed to five recent advances that give hope for a future free of hatred and homophobia. "This 'hall of shame' does not claim to include the worst offenders, but it highlights public officials who have failed in their basic duty to respect human rights for all," said Scott Long, director of the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender (LGBT) Rights Program at Human Rights Watch. "The abuses these officials have caused or countenanced symbolize the daily, invidious forms of homophobia that countless people face around the world."



Genderfuck Day is this Thursday, the 18th of May. The purpose of Genderfuck Day is to promote awareness of Gender diversity in our community. This Thursday we will be having street Theatre and etc in Forrest Chase from 4:30pm, before we move to the Black Dove - for the Genderfuck Ball ...To Genderfuck is to deliberately send mixed messages about ones sex, usually through dress.


Moscow Mayor Bans Gay Parade in Russian Capital

Moscow Mayor Yuri Luzhkov has lived up to his reputation of a homophobic ruler, after he imposed a ban on a gay parade in the Russian capital, the Gazeta.Ru news website reported Thursday. 

A source in the Moscow city hall told the Interfax news agency that the organizers of the festival had been denied a permission for security reasons.

Thursday, May 18, 2006

Senate Panel Backs Constitutional Amendment to Ban Gay Marriage

May 18 (Bloomberg) -- A Senate panel approved adding a ban on gay marriage to the U.S. Constitution, as congressional Republicans seek issues to appeal to voters in the November election.

The Republican-controlled Senate Judiciary Committee approved the amendment on a 10-8 party-line vote.

``Seeing activist courts under the guise of interpreting the Constitution seeking to redefine our most basic institution, I think it ought to be a right reserved to the American people through the representative process and not one done by judges,'' Senator John Cornyn, a Texas Republican, said in an interview before the vote.

Monday, May 15, 2006


In a Nineties’ study of ‘floating’ sex workers in Bangalore — that is, those who do not live in brothels but solicit clients on roads or in parks and take them to a mutually convenient place — a 26-year-old woman says that the question of morality does not bother people in her situation. She is just glad she can keep her husband happy. She was a domestic worker when her husband, injured in an accident, had to stop working. When a neighbour suggested sex work, telling her where to find clients, her husband encouraged her. He accompanies her to her ‘spot’ every day and waits for her till she returns after her last client.

This story has its own morality, one that drives the shadowy world Moni Nag seeks to bring to light in Sex Workers of India. The author has sifted through a large number of reports and surveys on Indian sex workers by various organizations, especially since the Nineties. The volume is so arranged as to illuminate the world of sex work in as systematic and realistic a way as possible. As Nag says, the studies made so far, in spite of their variety and differing depths, are still too scrappy for a full understanding of the profession. No one can even be sure how many sex workers there are in India.


Transsexual Denied Visiting Rights To 14-Year Old Daughter 

(London) The Court of Appeal has ruled that a transsexual cannot be considered a co-parent because the man and his former wife were married and the child born before trans persons were allowed to have their official records changed to reflect their transitioned sex.

In 2004 British law was amended so that transsexuals could have their records corrected, but the man, a female to male transsexual identified in court documents only as Mr. J. was married a decade earlier.


Justices Shy Away From Gay Parent's Case

WASHINGTON (AP) - The Supreme Court said Monday it would not block a lesbian from seeking parental rights to a child she helped raise with her longtime partner.

The justices have never before dealt with the rights of gays in child custody disputes, although state courts are handling a growing number of legal fights.
The court had been asked to review a ruling of Washington state's highest court that said Sue Ellen ``Mian'' Carvin could pursue ties to the girl as a ``de facto parent.'' Justices declined to take up the case.


‘Framed’ gay Muslim appeals conviction

A gay Muslim prisoner has launched an appeal against a conviction for grievous bodily harm, claiming he was framed by the men who had been targeting him in a homophobic hate campaign.

The 28 year old, Mohamed S, whose full identity cannot be revealed for safety reasons, was jailed for eight years in 2002, but has had his case accepted for review by the Criminal Cases Review Commission (CCRC,) who decide if a conviction should be sent to appeal.


Gay group return Democrat donation after marriage remarks

The National Gay and Lesbian Task Force (NGLTF) is returning a $5,000 donation from the Democratic National Party after party chairman Howard Dean mischaracterized the DNP platform on gay rights in an interview intended to court the evangelical vote.

Though the New York Times reports that Mr Dean corrected himself amid pressure from advocacy groups to set the record straight, he went on record with the Christian Broadcasting Network, saying the 2004 Democratic platform declares “marriage is between a man and a woman.”


Iraqi Ayatollah removes gay fatwa

Iraqi gays are claiming success following the decision of Grand Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani to remove from his website a fatwa calling for the killing of homosexuals in the "worst, most severe way possible".

The removal on 10 May 2006 follows protests to Mr Sistani by the London office of the Iraqi gay rights organisation, Iraqi LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender), which represents a clandestine network of lesbian and gay activists inside Iraq's major cities, including Baghdad, Najaf, Karbala, Hilla, Duhok and Basra. 

Following two weeks of negotiations with Iraqi LGBT – UK, Mr Sistani's office agreed to remove the fatwa calling for the murder of gay men, but refused to remove the fatwa urging punishment for lesbianism.


Queer' memorial to remember gay holocaust

Gay and lesbian holocaust victims are to get their own memorial in Vienna, officials revealed today.

A large basin filled with pink water will be built in 2007 in Morzinplatz, Vienna, at the former Gestapo headquarters, to remember the homosexual victims of the Nazi regime, according to plans published today.

The basin will be inscribed with the word “queer.”

Salt Lake Benefits Did Not Break Anti-Gay Amendment Judge Rules

(Salt Lake City, Utah) Salt Lake City mayor Rocky Anderson did not violate the Utah constitution when he extended health care benefits to domestic partners of Salt Lake City employees a judge has ruled.

But the decision is moot.  After Anderson signed the order city council overruled it and implemented a watered down version that replaces domestic partners with any "adult designee". Anderson, calling the measure "discriminatory" vetoed the measure, but the council overrode his veto and the amended ordinance now stands.

While the same-sex partners of city workers can still enroll in the health benefits program, he and LGBT civil rights activists say the ordinance fails to specifically recognize them.  Still they hailed the ruling by as District Judge Stephen Roth as a significant breakthrough that could benefit other same-sex couples in the state.


Archbishop sacks advisor because he is gay

The Archbishop of Westminster has dismissed his gay press secretary after telling him his sexuality was “incompatible” with his position in the Church, prompting further rows over Christianity and homosexuality. 

Stephen Noon, in charge of promoting the public image and ethics of the Church, was sacked by Cardinal Cormac Murphy-O’Connor in 2004 after just a year in the post.

Laura Bush eschews marriage ban campaigns

WASHINGTON -- Some election-year advice to Republicans from a high-ranking source who has the president's ear: Don't use a proposed constitutional amendment against gay marriage as a campaign tool.
Just who is that political strategist? Laura Bush.

The first lady told "Fox News Sunday" that she thinks the American people want a debate on the issue. But, she said, "I don't think it should be used as a campaign tool, obviously."

"It requires a lot of sensitivity to just talk about the issue -- a lot of sensitivity," she said.


 Mary Cheney slams Bush on gay marriage stance

Washington - The lesbian daughter of United States Vice President Dick Cheney on Sunday hit out at President George Bush's support for a constitutional amendment proscribing gay marriage.

Mary Cheney, 37, told Fox News on Sunday that the idea, which was backed strongly by Bush's Republican Party during his 2004 re-election campaign and continues to be promoted by many conservatives today, was "a bad piece of legislation".

"I think that is what the federal marriage amendment is, it is writing discrimination into the constitution.

"It is writing discrimination into the constitution and, as I say, it is fundamentally wrong."